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Writing, more often than not, is a lonely venture. And that’s because it has to be.

It’s the thing you do when you’re so deep in your own mind that you can’t focus on anything external. You’re so buried in the page and the words you’re putting onto it that you can’t even begin to comprehend anything else in the world. In those moments, it’s just you, your heart, your soul, and your brain. It’s a sole venture, but it’s also a soul venture. And thus, it’s a lonely venture.

How could it be any other way?

With Loneliness, Comes Hardship

Loneliness is one of the toughest things that a writer must battle. It’s not because they can’t deal with being alone… in fact, that’s probably heaven to most of you. Nope… that’s not what battling the loneliness is actually about.

It’s about creative stagnation.

Let’s think of it this way. If you work as part of a fifty-person team, that gives you forty-nine other people to go back and forth with. If you’re at work, and lack motivation or can’t come up with an idea that pops, you just stroll over to Sally’s desk and have a little inspirational chat. Or, in the worst cases, you form a group huddle and gather ideas from the rest of your peers.

That’s the difference right there. The rest of your peers. Sadly, writing doesn’t come with those.

When The Going Gets Tough

The writer has a meltdown…

It’s just basic science. When the writer must overcome hardship and must give serious effort to do so, they go into self-destruct mode and rant about it on Twitter for three hours solid.

On a serious note, though… The writer cannot get up from their desk and have a conversation with Sally about their difficulties. Sally does not exist in their world. Or, if she does, she’s several miles away and is only reachable by phone call. And she probably won’t answer anyway because, you know, she’s a writer. She’s having a meltdown too.

Even if she did answer, that wouldn’t solve the problem. Writing isn’t just lonely in a physical sense. It’s lonely because the battles are fought and won inside the writer’s own mind. No matter how many people you talk to, or how great the advice they provide, you’ll never truly solve the problem until you solve it in your head first.

That’s why writer’s block is so tough to overcome. It starts in your mind and ends in your mind. But the hard part is getting around the internal blockage that lurks somewhere in between.

Let Free Writing Be Your Sally

For those of you that aren’t familiar with this wonderful topic – congrats, your life is about to change forever. You don’t need your very own Sally for that to happen. You just need to know what free writing is and how to use it.

Let’s keep things simple. Free writing is exactly what it says on the tin: writing freely. It’s sitting down with no sense of plot or direction, and just writing to the tune of your present heart and soul. It doesn’t matter where they want to take you. What matters is that it’s somewhere, and that you follow. Those are the only two variables.

If writer’s block is hitting you hard, it’s time to give free writing a try. Don’t overthink or strategise, just pick up a pen, grab some paper, and write. Write ferociously, and until you’re panting like a dog playing fetch in the Sahara. And then write some more. Don’t ever stop until it feels like there are no more words left. Until it feels like you’re all burned out.

That sounds bad, right? You don’t want to be burned out. Well, actually… you do.

Don’t think of it as being burned out, think of it as the blockage being removed. The pipes of your mind have been all clogged up. Writer’s block is the blockage, the words you write at random are all the yucky, useless water the blockage caused, and free writing is the fantastic plumber who made it all possible.

Write With Freedom

The clue is in the name. Free writing is all about allowing freedom and creating a healthy place to work from. You’ll never get very far with a heavy head, so it’s imperative that you empty all the excess before moving onto what matters most.

With free writing, it’s not what you write or how you write it, it’s just that you get those ugly words onto the page so that the prettier ones can follow.

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